A business consultant was on Friday convicted of commercial sex with an underage escort in a high- profile online vice ring case.
Edward Whistler Goh Ngian Meng is the third of the 51 men charged to be found guilty after a trial. To date, 24 men have been sentenced.
Clad in a grey jacket, the 51-year-old suffered a panic attack in the dock after he was found guilty by District Judge Jasbendar Kaur of two counts of paying the 17-year-old $450 for sexual services. Goh was attended to by policemen when he showed signs of hyperventilating but recovered without incident.
His first offence took place at Hotel 81 Bencoolen on Sept 29, 2010, and the second, at his former condominium in Telok Kurau less than a month later on Oct 24.
The prosecution said the minor provided sexual services to Goh on both occasions, for which he paid her $450 each time.
Goh denied having had sex with her, claiming the first occasion was thwarted by a police raid and the second by his inability to achieve an erection.
Even though the minor was unable to identify Goh in court or remember him, she was "absolutely certain" - based on her text messages with her pimp, Tang Boon Thiew, on those days - that she had sexual intercourse with Goh on both occasions and that the payments were for that purpose.
Judge Kaur said she was satisfied that the minor was telling the truth.
Goh will be sentenced after his lawyers enter his mitigation on Nov 13.
The case has attracted much media attention because of the number of men involved and the fact that several were upstanding members of their communities.
Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.